Electroconvulsive Treatment


Electroconvulsive Treatment (ECT) has been used in mental health treatments since the 1940s. Controversy over some aspects of the treatment in 1950s and 60s led to guidelines and legislation on its use. Today, it is given under general anaesthetic and is offered as an acute treatment of severe depression that is life-threatening and when a rapid response is required, or when other treatments have failed. We interviewed 32 people about their experiences of mental illness and having or being offered ECT. You can start viewing topics by clicking 'Next Topic' above, or selecting from the list on the left. You can also view 'People's Profiles' from the tab above.

The National Institute for Health Research.
This project presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research programme (Reference Number PB-PG-0211-24144). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

Publication date: November 2014
Last updated January 2018
Next review: January 2020


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